Sometimes as voters we grow weary as politicians tell half-truths about their opponents in an attempt to slime them. But it is relatively uncommon for a candidate to go for the full lie: something so verifiably false that there’s not even a peg of truth to hang it on. Andy Cargile, the challenger to Taxpayer Champion Jonathan Stickland, who is running the pettiest campaign in Texas politics, has made the leap to the full lie.

Last week, Cargile sent out the following mailer, accusing Stickland of wanting to raise taxes on food and medicine by 25%. The mailer didn’t include a single citation to support its claim.

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But on this claim, Stickland has a rock-solid alibi. Last session Stickland coauthored HJR 74 – bipartisan legislation that would have prevented any further taxation of food and medicine. If his secret agenda is to raise taxes, he sure was doing a lot last session to work against it.

This allegation is one that has been thrown around by liberal consultants against conservatives for years, and it has even been pointed at those of us at TFR. Unfortunately for the liberal politicians who want to attack us as hypocrites, TFR’s President, Michael Quinn Sullivan, and Executive Director, Dustin Matocha, both registered in support of HJR 74 last session. No secret tax-raising agenda here!

But where is the 25% number coming from to begin with? Cargile cites on his mailer something called the “Texas Tax Truth Study.” What is that?

A visit to reveals a website “paid for by the Jim Keffer Campaign.” Keffer is the liberal Republican politician who gave us the current version of our much-maligned business margins tax. Incidentally, Keffer is closely connected with the Texas Taxpayers and Research Organization which, rather amazingly, testified against HJR 74.

The reality is that Andy Cargile didn’t put this mail piece together. Much like his performance in his debate against Stickland, in which he read his answers and opening and closing statement off of a sheet of paper, Cargile is just repeating the lies that his consultants and lobbyist backers are feeding him. But unfortunately for the voters of District 92, he doesn’t have the integrity to research them and realize that they aren’t even half-truths. They’re full lies.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.